A very solid opener to a stellar show. Jerry throws down a few fun licks in Promised Land. A quick happy new year from phil and Bob and off we go. Phil, who has made very clear in his book, is clearly happy to be back playing a full blown Grateful Dead New Years Eve show. Jerry misses a few words in Bertha and Phil drops a few licks of his own. He is on fire for essentially every note the rest of the way. Typical Mama Tried, nothing more, nothing less. Note, I just read Martin Fiero's words on Jerry from Jambase-everyone should look at those: TLEO is sort of a mess. I think Bobby is out of tune for half of it, maybe I would need a closer listen. Keith falls out of time in a few spots. But by the last 2 minutes everything seems in order. I am a bigger fan of the L.L.Rain from 80, 81 but this one is very listenable. Donna is good as is bobby. There is another mistake from Keith in it that throws them out of key for a split second, it¡¦s barely noticeable. There is something different about the first notes of Deal compared to the previous 5 tunes. Perhaps one of those moments where Jer very subtly took a leadership role and said, ¡§Hey! Let¡¦s do this thing huh¡¨ By the 2:45
mark everyone has figured out he wasn't fooling around. His vocals soar, where as they were a bit off on Bertha and TLEO. (Throughout the show his vocals are a little inconsistent, but its NYE right.) Maybe a little prep work by Jer before the early show jitters, being forgivable, period ends. Next will be nothing less than an epic mind bending Playing that pulls from the recent and distant past as well as the distant and upcoming future. God I love 76.
Playing reaches an apocalyptic level around 10:20
and by 11:00
they are searching in the void. Only 12 more minutes to go. Within 30 seconds they touch on a theme very briefly, maybe just 2 or 3 notes in 1.5 seconds and 30 seconds later everyone is there. Turn on a dime didn't end in 74 and this playing is the evidence. Minute 16, holy something, there has to be a holy something for this to be happening. Bobby is momentarily in a Franklin's esq. riff and in general is playing the crap out of his ax. 17:02
catch the slipknot tease or help tease depending on how you see it. Listen as it continues to build a new base for the jam. At 17:28
there is a clear as day, I will stay, played by Jerry. BTW, Keith has by this point worked out whatever problems he was having early on and best of all bill and mick are really starting to cook. As soon as it begins it ends and at 19:42
we hear the beginnings of playing noodling around. It sounds like Jer miffs a note which actually extends the re-intro an extra measure or two. 21:08
bum badabum bum badabum..Donna is out of key but at least its no cackle. Incredible Playing!!!
3, 2, 1
Happy New Year with the audience->Sugar Mags. Must have been a time. Gotta love the sbd/aud mix here. The place is blowing apart and Phil booming bass during sunshine daydream probably pushed the limits on the construction. A nice pace is maintained moving into eyes. If you listen very closely around 7:58
you can hear bobby rip a mini solo behind jerry's chord solo. .If only he was up in the mix¡K This eyes is all about phil keith and the devils though. Thump thump thump. That's not to say that in the mid 10 minute area Jerry doesn't lay down a sublime run. I love the space seeking from this period. They are developing the next sound to come right in the middle of playing it. The last minute or so of eyes is just them running in zig-zags looking for how to¡K->Wharf Rat without missing a beat. Jerry's voice is just dripping with...I don't know how to explain it, but its heavy. Keith really adds a lot to this wharf rat, and the little open extra right before 6:00-6:20 or so is really neat. I've already said but Bob is really playing some amazing stuff and in continues during this wharf. The energy built coming out of wharf rat>drums(more just a moment of quiet rest) is riotous and dense. They have already dropped a bomb on the place; the only thing left to do is pulverize the rubble. Well I was FEEEling, Yep, well here they go. And how about 2:32, sounds a lot a lot like H.C. Sunshine, but its still good lovin. Wow! Donna even pulls off a decent wail around the 4:28
mark and Keith really is blowin up. Oh yea, back into H.C. Sunshine jam.
Very funky Sam n D here, Donna, ugh. The key to keeping this one interesting is phil and he does a pretty good job. It does lag here and there though. I really think that is mick and bill's fault though. They are not complementing the pace very well imo. The groovy Samson matches well with Around and Around just right though. Bob and Keith are on fire here. This one really heats up at the breakdown after the speed up, oh and at 5:40
Jerry reminds us what it means to kiss the sky. Help--man is Jerry smoothest or what? This slipknot is defiantly powerful. Incredibly unique beginning, again Bob killing, Phil thumping etc...this is a great one. Sounds a lot like there may be a Spanish jam coming around the 4 minute mark. A nice jam ensues regardless. This slip is another example of the band searching the open spaces. From essentially the 6 minute mark through 9:45, the drums are not entirely present. There are random hits of a symbol, but the hits are more like soft taps. Well placed for sure but uninvolved. Then as if from nowhere a hint at the slip line, then away from it immediately¡K.its
almost like they are practicing right there on stage; a nice Phil moment, a high hat, and then, wtf, Not Fade Away, sure, I don't even care anymore. This is nuts.<--me were I in attendance. What I love about 76 is getting to hear the dead back in a stage of infancy, where they were not in control, like 73, 79, bits of 70 and 72 as well. Songs like eyes are the same yet completely different, help, slip, Samson etc all brand new. It left the possibilities in the music so wide open. The openness is what 77 and beyond lacked imo. Not until the late 80s did ideas flow so free of the restrictions implied by being tight.
Morning Dew, at its worst its great, and this one is none to shabby.
Phil really beats away on Saturday night and Keith just it just right. The Uncle John's is an audience recording. Its pretty decent, but considering the over quality of this sbd and mix, oh well. That not withstanding, as an encore, this is one hell of a UJB and its nice to catch the clap along at the end. Also Keith's higher notes come through nicely. The same recording has the bid you goodnight, which I actually prefer in this scenario. Not nearly as much is lost when it's just vocals.
Great f-in show. Get it